How do you describe your style? What are your inspirations?
I am a toy maker of handcrafted stuffed animals made of repurposed materials (felted sweaters) and organic fillings. I strip down my plush designs to their essential forms-employing a limited amount of moves to render each animal's essential characteristics so I’d describe my style as “upcyled” minimalism.
I often catch a glimpse of a face in the folds of fabric and then the rest follows. Having been trained as an architect (I have a Master's of Architecture degree), I am attracted to simple sculptural forms and clean lines, but I enjoy the oddities too. Inspiration comes from all around -nature, architecture, fashion design, fine art and an occasional misshapen vegetable.
What makes your products unique?
All my designs are from my own patterns. I do study classic stuffed animal patterns, but I incorporate ways to use the material in unique ways. Since everything is made of repurposed sweaters there are always odd details that I can incorporate. For the larger pieces, I like to provide the provenance of the material. In other words, you’ll see that your squirrel was formerly a Banana Republic turtleneck. I’ll use the existing seams to highlight muscle structure of the creature. The cuffs often are used for the snails—the ribbing adds a flourish to their shells. Sweater sleeves are reserved for my elephants and piglets—as rolling the material makes their trunks and snouts. The variety of the raw materials (felted repurposed wool and cashmere sweaters) presents constant challenges and changes in the outcome. This means that every animal is truly unique. I can cut out a dozen rhinoceros and they will all be slightly different due to how the material stretches once I add the unbleached cotton stuffing. I really never know exactly how they’ll turn out. I embrace the happy accidents working somewhere in the grey zone between toy maker and sculptor.
I sew all the animals in my home studio using my 1970's Riccar sewing machine. What started as handmade baby gifts fro friends and family has blossomed into a small business that compliments my other work in residential design.
Repurposed wool and cashmere sweaters, organic cotton stuffing, Ingeo fibers, wool felt, scraps of suede and leather